2022 Cloud Security Trends & Strategies
40% of companies have suffered a cloud-based data breach
To support the increase in remote workers’ access to data and systems due to the pandemic, 92% of organizations have had to leapfrog years when hosting their IT environment and data in the Cloud. Unfortunately, it hasn't been a smooth transition for many, with forty percent of companies having suffered a Cloud-based data breach. And as much as Cloud adoption offers flexibility, reduced costs, and productivity, it also has the potential to expose organizations to security threats.
And as we have seen time and time again, cybercriminals will keep targeting Cloud environments as long as they see profit potential, so it’s no surprise we see a doubling down on Cloud infrastructures being targeted in 2022.
To help enterprises plan a more secure 2022, here are the top end-to-end Cloud security trends to protect your organization:
Zero Trust Policy
Internet of Things (IoT) devices, remote workers, and a greater reliance on third-party providers can all increase security vulnerabilities. And when a quick digital transformation is needed, enterprises cannot assume that threat-free environments exist, nor can they rely on traditional security measures to keep their operations secure. Having a reliable zero trust and least-privilege security policy and architecture can help safeguard who can access data and resources and is key to protect your Cloud infrastructure.
88% of security leaders say transitioning to a zero-trust approach is "very important"
Zero trust is a tactic that does not assume implicit trust on any enterprises’ resources, no matter where they reside — in the Cloud, remotely, etc. Instead, the method requires that every identity reestablish trust for every session with a corporate resource. A zero trust strategy requires additional complexity as it helps organizations to create policies and put procedures in place that provide greater enterprise security. So, it’s no surprise that enterprises will be leveraging zero trust architecture to future-proof their security success. In fact, a recent survey found that 88% of security leaders say transitioning to a zero-trust approach is "very important."
As organizations implement zero trust and least privilege in the Cloud, they need to implement practices that provide comprehensive visibility to manage network policy, identity and access permissions, and resource configurations while isolating Cloud, endpoint, and data center systems with enforced rules. A Zero Trust policy that doesn’t make it to full enforcement simply isn’t fully capable of stopping malware, ransomware, or malicious cybercriminals.
Optical Transport is a Layer 1/1.5 service and is much more difficult to tap
Dedicated Secure Connectivity
When evaluating connectivity into the Cloud, organizations should consider the pros and cons of Internet versus dedicated Optical Transport or Ethernet connectivity. Having a dedicated circuit that isn't Internet-based lowers intrusion abilities. Consequently, one of the many benefits of Optical Transport connectivity is the secure and reliable connectivity that its physical properties provide. Optical fiber is a Layer 1/1.5 service and is much more difficult to tap as it would require physical intrusion. With a dedicated circuit, Internet-based type threats are eliminated. Site diversity is also essential to ensure business continuity in the event of an outage. A review of the security policies of your Cloud provider will help ensure that your needs are being met.
The odds are greater that businesses in the building stages of Cloud implementation will suffer more breaches than their Cloud-native counterparts. The security controls and practices built for their on-premises environments are not often what is needed in the Cloud, where everything is software-based and deeply integrated. And though the Cloud presents new opportunities for all enterprises, it also comes with unique risks.
Large Cloud service environments contain a wide variety of data storage and processing services. It's easy to accidentally expose data through poorly configured access controls, encryption, and other data protection measures. It is also challenging to identify appropriate least-privilege roles and identity policies, particularly in large and multi-cloud scenarios that involve numerous types of use cases and different identity policy engines for each provider. Weak or improperly applied identity policies and permissions are a vulnerable target for attackers in the Cloud.
With security teams needing to mitigate an array of challenges along the way, it is imperative to invest in a solution that tracks all configuration settings in numerous Clouds or Cloud accounts to help detect misconfigurations that could cause security issues.
With IoT usage rapidly growing and the increased number of interconnected devices, there is an urgent need for all enterprises to safeguard the identity and authenticity of these devices and applications communicating with each other.
Machines that communicate on a business network pose risks simply by connecting. And for many enterprises, the need is compounded by digital transformation initiatives such as Cloud migration and expanding DevOps processes. When organizations fail to keep up with the volume and variety of machine identities they need, the consequences can be dire. For example, Microsoft and Spotify have experienced machine identity outages resulting in lost customers, and the State of California was unable to tabulate Covid-19 testing results after a TLS certificate on its centralized reporting system expired.
These risks can be managed with the help of machine identities that state if each machine is trustworthy by identifying and authenticating every device. Machine identities ensure data flow to trusted machines only and prevent it from being directed to untrusted machines. Without a stable machine identity mechanism in place, it is impossible to regulate the flow of data into and out of your network. It becomes easy for cybercriminals to tunnel into an organization’s network, discover vulnerabilities, and exploit them to sabotage the internal network. As a result, companies need more resources just to manage the same number of machine identities.
That’s why enterprises are implementing automated machine identity management workflows, taking steps to manage certificate lifecycles on hybrid deployment models, or adopting machine identity management as a service.
Eliminate Weak Links
Cybercriminals look for weak links throughout your environment as a way to breach the Cloud and attack valuable assets.
Endpoint Security should be implemented to mitigate threats
Enterprises need to focus on reducing their Cloud attack surface and containing the blast radius if a cybercriminal breaches their security controls. By investing in solutions that provide visibility into Cloud identities and getting a clear picture of the potential damage that could follow a breach, organizations will be better prepared to respond quickly and connect with all the stakeholders. Endpoint Security is one of the defenses that should be implemented to mitigate these threats.
Another way that organizations can protect themselves is to restrict attackers’ ability to move laterally, should a breach of the outer layer occur. This can be done by reducing entitlements and privileges for all identities (including machine identities) that are allowed to access Cloud resources. So, with this type of role-based security, if a breach occurs getting into your Cloud environment, the cybercriminal cannot get into critical data or applications.
To learn how Lightpath can help your organization secure your enterprise, contact your Account Executive or call 877-544-4872.